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What About Obedience?

Lori, from Dracut, Massachusetts recently emailed me the following question about obedience after reading my post titled There’s No Bad News In The Good News.

Sandra….John 14:15 says “If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.

And John 14:23-24 says “Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Vs. 24…Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching.”

These verses, specifically vs. 23, almost make it sound as if the Father will love us only if we keep His commands. This makes His love sound conditional and that if we really love Him, we will keep His commands. I know I don’t obey His commands all the time. Does this mean I don’t really love Him?  This confuses me. Can you help me with this??

Thank you so much!
Lori

First of all let me say that I love getting questions from people like this because it forces me to go searching for the answers. This has been a very important part of my grace journey. If you ever have a comment or question please feel free to email me using the mail tab at the top of this website.

This time, as I went in search of my answer for Lori I decided to go to Paul Ellis’ website (Good News blogger), look in his scripture index for John 14:15 and John 14:23-24 and see which posts came up.

I was blown away by all I learned from reading four incredible blog posts that I knew would answer Lori’s question! In fact, I have read each of these posts 3 times now.

Check them out and then check out Lori’s reaction to reading them below!

Post #1: John 14:15 – The Commands of Jesus

Post #2: What Happens to Unfruitful Branches?

Post #3: The Root of Disobedience

Post #4: The Root of Obedience

Here’s Lori’s reply to this Good News!

Sandra, I can’t thank you enough for sharing this with me. I don’t even know where to begin to respond to all of it. I am overwhelmed and over-joyed. And I need to read it over and over again. This can be life changing for people who have never heard these verses explained in this way. 

 I’m so thankful that God’s love for us isn’t linked to our obedience. I thought I was beginning to understand this after listening to messages on God’s grace and after reading your book. That’s why this verse in John 14:15 just didn’t seem to line up with what I was learning about grace. Each time I read it, I felt condemned because I knew I wasn’t obeying God’s commands perfectly. So then I would think, “I must not be loving God as I should.” Yet I know Romans 8:1 says “therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I have prayed and asked God countless times to give me a greater revelation of His love and His grace. I just never felt like I was doing or loving enough. And so deep down I believed that God wasn’t quite pleased with me. 

Honestly, this all brings me to tears of joy. I want to jump up and down and share this with everyone I know. No wonder when people hear the message of God’s GRACE, they want to share it. 

I think everyone needs to read this, to understand this, to know the truth about this. I believe it will be life changing for people who have been interpreting these verses incorrectly like I have been for so long. And I still don’t have a full revelation of all of this. I need to read it again and again. Please consider writing/sharing this in another blog post. I know I want to share it with everyone I know and love. 

I have also printed out your blog “Jesus in the Driver’s Seat” and will be mailing a copy of it to a family member. I think the way you explain and share the “Good News” is probably the best I’ve ever read or heard. You explain it clearly and precisely with no rules, regulations, or condemnation, just the way it should be explained and understood by everyone who hears it. So, thank you for this as well. 

Blessings, blessings, blessings to you and thank you again!!!

 Lori

I Love It!

Let’s Make Jesus Famous by spreading the Good News of God’s grace!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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